Jack Quann
Jack Quann

16.37 2 Dec 2019


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The body of a man found in Wales is believed to be that of missing Irish man Conor Whooley.

Mr Whooley - who was from Greystones, Co Wicklow - had been missing from Dublin since 1983.

In January 2013, police in Wales exhumed an unidentified body from Menai Bridge Cemetery.

A missing person had been identified as a possible match to a man who had been discovered at Rhoscolyn in October 1983.

A DNA profile was gained, but later analysis showed that the man could not have been the missing person.

As a result of publicity surrounding this and other cases in Ireland, Mr Whooley's family approached the Gardaí and North Wales Police.

Subsequent familial DNA samples have provided enough evidence for a file to be submitted to a British coroner for his consideration.

The investigating officer for the operation, Don Kenyon, said: "As a result of publicity in Ireland and a collaborative investigation between the Garda, Forensic Science Ireland and North Wales Police we have gained sufficient evidence to justify asking the coroner to apply to re-open his inquest to identify the male found in 1983.

"We have been in contact with the family of Conor Whooley and they are receiving support from the Garda Missing Persons Unit.

"I hope that this positive news will encourage other families of missing people to provide DNA samples to help solve other outstanding cases in North Wales and beyond".

Mr Whooley's family have said they would like to sincerely thank North Wales Police and An Garda Síochána for their "tremendous efforts" in helping to identify the remains of their son and brother.

Conor was 24 at the time he went missing and his remains were found on a beach in Anglesey later that year.

After an unsuccessful attempt at identification, he was buried in a grave in Wales.

In recent years, as part of an initiative called Operation Orchid, North Wales Police are using DNA testing in a bid to solve a number of cold cases of unidentified human remains found in their area from 1968 to 2011.

After hearing about the operation, Conor's mother provided a DNA sample which confirmed that he was interred in the unmarked grave in Wales.

His family said they are "relieved to know his final resting place and that he has been cared for by the people of Anglesey & Menai Bridge in particular."

They also know that other Irish families have had family members located through Operation Orchid - and are encouraging families of the missing to contact the authorities to seek help and especially to add their names to the DNA database.


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1983 Conor Whooley Don Kenyon Irish Man Menai Bridge Cemetery Missing North Wales Police Rhoscolyn Unidentified Body Wales

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